Scribd now offering free document scanning [Update: it's real!]

Scribd will scan your paper documents and host them free of charge. We're not foolin' you.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

Update (10:06 AM): The submission process differs from the original plan. If you have the address, please don't send anything there. Please check the updated instructions below. And yes--this is real. Post has been amended from the original to reflect these changes.

We know it's April 1st, but this is 100 percent real. I made James Yu, Senior Product Developer at Scribd swear on his unborn first child that this isn't an April fool's gag. Starting today the document hosting company will take any of your real documents and scan them for you to be hosted on Scribd.

The company has a strict process to make sure you're not just going to send them truck loads full of documents. You must follow these explicit instructions:

To participate, just send a brief description of the type and quantity of your documents to paper@scribd.com. A Scribd representative will reply shortly with further instructions for how and where to mail the documents. Scribd will have the content scanned and published on Scribd.com to be easily shared with anyone. Include your Scribd username along with your paper so that your content will be published in your account. If you are not a Scribd user, include your email address, and Scribd will email you a link to your published content.

The most amazing part in all of this is that this service is completely free. Comparable commercial services range in price, but some I found were up to $.80 a sheet. There also appears to be no size limit, meaning you could literally send several boxes of old papers you have laying around. I can see this being huge with college students who have those final papers that are marked up by their professors or teaching assistants with all the edits and notes that aren't on the final drafts on their computers.

Also worth noting is that documents are shredded after scanning, although if you're worried about privacy you should realize they're going on the Internet.